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Voices From The Hellmouth Revisited: Part Ten 211

This is the last in our retrospective on the columns that Jon Katz began writing after the killings at Columbine High School in 1999, followed by another handful of the many impassioned comments and emails that those columns drew, a few of which at least give hope that it is possible to tame the Hellmouth.

After Columbine: Geek Profiling

W.A.V.E., a profit-making program ramping up in the southern U.S. and soon to go national, will use Web sites and toll-free numbers, to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates whom they consider depressed, dangerous or potentially violent, this horrifically stupid Geek Profiling would be blatantly unconstitutional, if applied to adults.

According to David Bresnahan, reporting on the WorldNet Daily site, the new W.A.V.E. program, developed by Pinkerton Services Group, a division of the international security firm Pinkerton, Inc. is starting up in North Carolina, and is soon to go nationwide.

W.A.V.E. offers anonymous toll-free lines for students who will be trained to watch for and report "dangerous" behavior like depression, or for kids with weapons. Every North Carolina school will have free access to this program, which will include a Web site, classes, school assemblies and special sessions for parents and teachers. A North Carolina task force on school violence created W.A.V.E. America, working together with Pinkerton. A contact list of law-enforcement agencies is also being developed for each school in the state to notify when a tip has been received by Pinkerton on its nationwide toll-free line.

W.A.V.E. joins new software "security" programs like Mosaic 2000, which is being tested in public schools to compile and computerize information on students believed to be dangerous or potentially violent. This new rat-on-kids industry is an offshoot of the Geek Profiling, anti-Net hysteria that broke out all across the United States after last year's Columbine High School killings. Despite the fact that horrific incidents like Columbine are extremely rare, and that the FBI and Justice Department have both reported that youth violence has dropped to its lowest levels in more than half a century, the belief persists in much of America that technologies like the Internet (and activities like computer gaming) are turning otherwise healthy school children into mass murderers.

In a news magazine survey taken earlier this year, 81 percent of Americans said they believed the Net was responsible for the Columbine massacre. In the lunatic world of American education, and the surreal aftermath of Columbine, it now seems perfectly reasonable, even sensible, to suspend and force into counseling children who are angry, depressed. Children who wear white makeup, game obsessively, or who say intemperate and stupid things. The W.A.V.E. program is institutionalizing a culture in which kids are being taught to turn in classmates whose behavior they consider abnormal or dangerous. It is also reinforcing the notion that school students have no Constitutional rights of due process, rights such as privacy, confronting accusers, behaving in nonconformists ways, or even knowing that accusations against the exist.

Although school-age children are presumed to have few rights, it's obvious that this kind of anonymous and intrusive law enforcement would be blatantly unconstitutional for adults. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Florida law that permits police to search people for firearms solely on the basis of anonymous tips. Citing the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, the court ruled that such a law would enable "any person to harass another to set in motion an intrusive, embarrassing police search." Authorities, the court ruled, needed some corroborating evidence before they could invade the privacy of any citizen. It's frightening to imagine how school authorities can possibly teach citizenship when they have so wantonly violated the very idea of constitutional rights.

The Orwellian phobia (Who do we turn in next? Dangerous parents, neighbors and sibs?) Has been a staple of the most venal political systems in the 20th Century, from Nazism to fascism to Communism. It is presumptuous and arrogant on so many levels. It's astonishing to see public officials like North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt adopt an idea so unthinkingly and enthusiastically. But he's not alone-plenty of parents and educators are along for the ride.

It isn't clear where information goes once it's collected by kid-profiling software, or toll-free hot lines. Presumably, it remains in a computerized dangerous-kids database for life. This is just one more reason that it's insane to ask young children to evaluate their classmates for emotional disorders and other signs of potentially "dangerous" behavior. Not only are kids patently unqualified to make such judgments, the temptation to turn in teens who are socially competitive, "geeky", different, disliked, abrasive or unhappy seems almost irresistible, especially when doing so is cloaked in anonymity. Monitoring and evaluating behavior is a science that's supposed to be done by trained professionals - teachers, psychologists, guidance counselors, and therapists. Even then, kids ought to have the right to be openly confronted with the accusation that they're a menace to society, and to respond, rather than wonder if some angry classmate has branded them for life on an anonymous toll-free line run by a profit-making private company with a vested interest in promoting the notion that schools - and teenagers - are dangerous.

"A safe school environment is fundamental to helping North Carolina's students succeed in school," announced Governor Hunt. "Every school ought to be a safe one and W.A.V.E. America will help get every kid involved. This program is more than just a tip line, it teaches students and parents to look for early signs of violent behavior and to resolve conflicts constructively."

This is the worst kind of political exploitation. It takes schools off the hook and turns the complex process of school administration over to adolescents. Kids will ultimately have to live in fear that the desk mate they jostled with will turn them in, or that bragging about exploits on Doom will get them turned into W.A.V.E. as "unbalanced."

If a teen or a parent becomes aware that a classmate has a gun and plans to use it, there are plenty of cops and law enforcement officials they can call. There is no statistical evidence to support the notion that schools are so dangerous that children need to be manipulated into turning one another in. Nor is there much doubt about who will be targeted - geeks, nerds, Goths, oddballs, along with anyone else who is discontented, alienated and individualistic.

That kids are being asked to do this is revolting enough. That they are being asked to do it by a profit-making private corporation suggests a culture much sicker and more dangerous than most school kids.

"Seems to me that W.A.V.E. merely reflects the prevailing mindset of the majority of Americans. Not to mention the sad fact that intellectual midgets machine the majority of US political/power positions. I was a nerd in school, I still am. Does that make me dangerous? Only if the fact that I think makes me dangerous in a country where thought is considered dangerous. Allah/Jehovah/God/Buddha forbid!! Could this be America, the land of the free and blah, blah, blah? The often misquoted, precious, forefathers of this "great (foul)" land would curl into cinders to see what has become of their legacy. There is no humanity in this country, everybody wants liberty but only on their individual terms, only if it suits their self-interest and they don't even care if it impinges on someone else's liberty...that's the problem with the US. Big Brother does not exist and he's looking in through your windows, down your throat and into every other conceivable orifice in your body." ---A.C. (Original Comment #1)

"DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW: This is the most ridiculous, ludicrous, fucked up shit I have heard in years. OF COURSE it is going to be nothing but a free-for-all with all the same fucking loser/conformist/fascist types trying to fuck up life in yet ANOTHER fashion for anyone/everyone who is unique, individual, different, creative, follows another drummer, doesn't swim with the lemming crowd, doesn't baaa with the herd of sheep, etc., ad nauseum. As if they didn't try to make life fucked up for us enough as it is. But shit, we had power, guts, determination, magic and ingenuity to invent the Internet, to truly render the earth a global village, and to redefine what "WORK" means in the "new millennium". So surely we can figure out a way to STOP these worthless twits...can't we? Whaddya say, people? What shall we do to overthrow them before they even ascend, to stomp them down before they even rear their pathetic virus-infested heads, to bring them to a screeching, grinding halt before they even cross the starting line? IDEAS? ANYONE? Love is the law, love under will."---S. (Original Comment #2)

"So depressed people are dangerous and should be locked up are they? I f only guns were legal in this country; I'd go out and shoot myself in the head right now. Fascist bastards."---M.O. (Original Comment #3)

"I also have spent years fighting depression. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I'm medically considered a danger to myself. Everyone assumes that this means I'll hurt them too. I could never physically hurt anyone else. I care deeply about everyone except my self. Now that's a crime?" ---A.C. (Original Comment #4)

"My father fought his depression for three decades until it finally won one morning. In the meantime he was a major scholar in his field, respected and well liked by colleagues and students across the world. We were simply astonished by the bundles of condolences from around the world, which kept coming for weeks. He wrote several of the standard texts in his field, as well as what are now the canonical translations/ Commentaries on a number of classical texts, and was credited with making it a significant area of study where before it was an obscure backwater. And practically nobody was aware of his illness outside of his family and his closest colleagues. A less dangerous man I can hardly envision. Now under the W.A.V.E. regime, I guess that, if anyone had actually noticed the symptoms, he would have been labeled as dangerous (to people other than himself) and might well have been unable to continue in academia and thus to carry out his work, his humble attempt to add to the sum of human knowledge. By all accounts this man was a really good teacher. Clearly I'm somewhat biased, but when he taught me, I could see the talent he had. And three decades worth of students would have been deprived of his abilities, care, concern and sense of duty, had he been blacklisted on health grounds. Tuberculosis is contagious - that's why it's a notifiable disease. Depression is an all-too-often fatal condition, but it is not contagious and should in the main remain a matter for the patient, their family and their physician. It is not grounds for a witch hunt."---Tom (Original Comment #5)

"Sounds wonderful. Now these people who would rather be left alone, and enjoy wearing black clothing will be labeled as depressed and violent. Is this the "Kick Me" sign for the 21st Century?" ---P.O. (Original Comment #6)

"Does anyone else remember the cheap school-TV movie "The Wave" about fascism in elementary school? I just thought that was a weird coincidence." ---F. (Original Comment #7)

"Yeah, I mean its not like depression is very well understood by the vast majority of adults in this country. I made the mistake of letting an employer know that I was seeking help for depression, and, did I ever regret it. I found that people in the office regarded me as a potential serial killer or something. I also started hearing nasty jokes told when they thought I wasn't around. I finally put a stop to it all by having my shrink write up a document "certifying" that I was sane. Did it up one of those award templates all fancy? I should have framed it. I presented that at a staff meeting and told all present that I was the only person there who was certifiably sane and that I would have no more jokes and ostracism. It worked surprisingly well. I was lucky. Sadly, mental illness still carries a stigma and too many people like to pretend there is no such thing as depression, or they treat it as moral failing. Or worse they fear it on the same level as demonic possession. So now we have a program that puts depressed people in a database of suspicious persons. Great. Just what we need to encourage people to go get help."---D. (Original Comment #8)

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Voices From The Hellmouth Revisited: Part Ten

Comments Filter:
  • I always thought 'The Wave' was something you did at a sporting event.....

    First Post?
  • 13221 bytes in body

    Unfortunately only 20 bytes of new content...

  • You're a washed up hack, face it. Why don't you go back to writing fortune cookies or something?
  • Gives a new meaning to s l o w news day.

  • W.A.V.E. is here [].
  • Please... just let this subject die man, I've had enough already.
  • Haha, too true. Perhaps 13221 bytes in BODY, but only 20 bytes in HEAD is more apropos? ;P
  • Agreed. Katz, we're sick of this stuff... please, leave us in peace.
  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:08PM (#486109) Homepage

    End Geek Profiling.

    Simply call the # and report every student in all of your classrooms. Convince a few friends to do the same, and eventually, every student will be on the roster for investigation.

    Granted, this sounds like that lame Spacey movie "Pay it Forward", it would definitely complicate the works.

  • by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <> on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:11PM (#486110) Homepage
    Now please please please make it into a book!

    Look, they posted AC, correct? Which means they purposely avoided being contacted. And they posted in a public forum, which means anyone can quote them. Fair use.

    Even if you have to remove a few comments, do so and publish the rest. I'd buy it. I'd show it to people.

    This book doesn't prove anything. It doesn't show that we're all oppressed, or that we're all whiners. But it's an honest look at the collective viewpoint of geeks (as ridiculous and cheesy as that phrase has become), and it can make people think.

    Publish it.

    (BTW, I'm proud of you for including the MasterCard joke in one of the installments... I was hoping you'd have the guts to do that.)


  • hey that's my stapler... he stole my stapler... excuse me,... i paid for that... please give it back ..*mumble mumble*... burn the building down...

  • How many people have went out and killed themselves after seeing Katz repeat himself over and over, whether it be discussions of angst-ridden teens who can't get a date to the prom or his reviews of the latest Tom Hanks movie?

    People! I think we are missing the real tragedy here! The real tragedy is Katz is not offering anything of substance to Slashdot. The real tragedy appears to be Katz is getting paid per article he writes, no matter whether it has anything to do with Slashdot or not.

  • The rights of teenagers erode day by day in America. Currently, in Northern California, there is a DAYTIME curfew being considered to 'keep teenagers out of trouble'. Laws like this are patently ridiculous. The only problem is, Teenagers don't have enough people standing up for their rights as citizens. There aren't enough lawyers standing up against the opression. After all, there are lawyers in any other opressed group, female lawyers, black lawyers, asian lawyers, etc... But, for obvious reasons, there are no tennaged lawyers. As a result, teenagers are under-represented, and thus easily opressed. Personally, I am working on my J.D. to fight exactly this kind of cause, opression of teenagers. This sort of ignorance simply can't be allowed to continue.
  • He's getting paid per article and per word I would assume :)
  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:18PM (#486115)
    Report all the abusive bullies in the school. Seems they're the _real_ violent types, right?

    Maybe they can get counselling before they become alcoholic wife-beaters...
  • by kubla2000 ( 218039 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:20PM (#486116) Homepage
    The idea of setting up a federal tattle-tale system has a legacy rather more sinister than W.A.V.E or other media-hyped agencies of a smiliar ilk.

    The Nazis got good currency out of an informant system, as did the totalitarian regimes of Eastern Europe. Amongst the most notorius reigned in Romania, Bulgaira and Albania, three of the most depressed countries in the region. The legacy of the tattle-tale lives in as standing out in any way (read, being different from the herd, including being successful) is a cause of fear and neurosis.

    The brain-drain that results from an informant system is shocking. Witness the exodus of intellectuals from the former communist block. Project that to America and you'll find parents pulling their ostracised children out the public education sector and into the private.

    Who will suffer most? Typically, the ones who would have stood to gain the most: those for whom an intellectually stimulating peer group would have boosted motivation, intellectual discipline and dialogue. And if there's any group who can understand the benefits from a stimulating peer-group, it's the /. crowd.

  • I hate to say it, but come on. Part Ten? Doesn't anyone remember when the Friday the 13th series went this far?
  • by Thorin_ ( 164014 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:22PM (#486118)
    Better yet the geeks can just call up and report all the jocks etc. Because it is anonymous you don't even have to have any friends help. Just use several differnt phones.

  • This is the last in our retrospective on the columns that Jon Katz began writing after the killings at Columbine

    ...and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

  • Damn, beat me to it, that's exactly what I was going to say. Somebody mod that up!

  • Damnit, Jon, write a book and LEAVE US ALONE!! It stopped becoming a geek thing a long time ago, and it just became a Katz thing!
  • Or in 1984? (Orwell) I seem to remember some name for these people.
  • There's a different solution than bemoaning the lack of education, let's fix the education problem so we have people that can make better decisions.

    Yes, it is slow, and often thankless, but it really is better to build one bonfire than to curse the darkness.

    One novel approach is TrueGift Donations [], a nonprofit trying to get school supplies into classrooms without doing the usual funding games. Check it out.

    If you think its better to get bright kids out of schools, rather than just complain about Marching Morons, then moderate this up.

    Besides, wouldn't you like bright coworkers?

  • Join [] and make a difference!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you don't mind, some of us are stuck in the Hellmouth and want to be kept aware of things like this. I just lead a campaign against cameras in our schools (we lost, of course), and this sounds like something that would be coming next. If you don't like the author, or the subject matter, don't read it, moron.
  • Give it up already, Katz. Why don't you go back to watch every lame-ass hollywood movie that comes out and posting a lame review?

  • I still can't get over how absolutely negative you all are over every single Katz article. He writes very well, but it isn't good enough for the nerd population. JonKatz: You're a great writer, go somewhere where the people have enough intelligence to recognize your skill. Slashdot Commentors: Go get laid, you all obviously need it.
  • by subbiecho ( 303134 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:41PM (#486128) Homepage
    "Several factors are essential in establishing ethical standards for education-business partnerships and sponsorships. First, the expectations of each partner must be clearly defined before entering the partnership. Second, partnerships should not in any way compromise the goals of public education. Third, the participation of teachers in partnerships must be voluntary. Fourth, neither students nor their families should be exploited as a result of an education-business partnership. Finally, business partners must not promote specific products, determine curricula or influence education policies." [Alberta Teachers Assoc. []]

    The above, from my research, is a commonly held view amongst most teacher organizations. This WAVE project is a blatant violation of such ethics. It encourages duplicity amongst school children and could lead to greater levels of fear and viciousness in revenge. How often in high school did someone piss you off and you wished you had a way to really get back at them? What better way than to drop an anonymous tip to the Pinkerton run WAVE hotline, which, as Katz stated, is fed to local law enforcement.
    As someone who is planning on becoming a public system educator, it disturbs me that North Carolina has provided its students with this new, and potentially damaging, system of paranoia. I greatly hope the ACLU [] looks into this and files a court action, as this project blatantly violates students civil liberties and exploits the youth in North Carolina.

  • Does anyone have any thoughts on how the new presidency is going to affect programs like
    W.A.V.E? Will the Bush/Chaney Repbulican Party take a supportive, indifferent or negative stance?
  • re: "Nor is there much doubt about who will betargeted - geeks, nerds, Goths, oddballs, along with anyone else who is discontented, alienated and dualistic."

    Maybe not, Geek kids are smarter and will be more likely to spend time calling the W.A.V.E. and reporting the dark sociopathic leanings of the captain of the football team and the members of the student assembly.
  • They're great if you want to dig up dirt on just about any american who lived over the last 40 years. They even provide similar services clandestinely in Europe on a smaller scale.

    Pinkerton Background Security Services claims to have files on over 350 million Americans going back over 40 years. For large companies who open an acount with them, they will provide a file on every potential employee for a US$60 fee. Digressive discounts for larger numbers of inquiries.

    Pinkerton has been a great implementor of database, indexing, search engine, and file(dossier) management technologies. They have a number of computing centres around the US to keep their data searching capabilities running 24/24.

    The WAVE project they proposed to North Carolina was another great project of their many ways of collecting as much data about Americans as they can. By manning a number of "hotlines" targeted directly at children, they can create files on all school age kids in the state, long before those kids have any other paper or electronic trails. This allows them to more proactively track juveniles with problems, and bypasses court restrictions on sealing juvenile criminal records.

    By offering these services to state governments, they avoid being seen in a criminal light, as they can spin their existence as a crime fighting branch of a state government. They are being given access to the school records of every student in NC, just to ensure their records are complete for when a hotline call comes in. North Carolina has given them permission to keep those records permanently, and once those records are stored in their own databases, they become the property of Pinkerton.

    It is amazing the level of detail in some Pinkerton records I've seen. Driving records, complete tax paying history, any brush with the law even if it didn't result in charges or conviction, medical records, known friends and acquaintances and family relations, sexual orientation, racial background, propensity for travel, fast cars, or other "extravigant" expenses, frequent flyer plans, school records and IQ test results, military service record and security classification, oh, and credit ratings. The reports can be summarised to show potential aberant behaviour such as innability to keep a job, excessive spending, potential drug use (drop in grades during school), and undeclared medical problems.

    I had an employer request a full report on me at one point (cost over US$800), because I was employed to write a security policy for them. The Pinkerton sales reps had made a sales call, and we wanted to see what was actually delivered and whether it would fit the new policy. Although their contract states the employer can never allow a person to see their own file, I was in a friendly crowd. I was stunned at the level of detail, and the inaccuracy of much of my report which combined a number of other people in America sharing my name. But the summaries of my being unstable due to moving around the US and being a flight risk due to being a foreign national were mostly right. And the analysis of being a "libertarian leaning, anti-establishment, technically savvy introvert with no social skills" was spot on for my early life, but I've got social skills now :-)

    the AC
  • ...But the world will be such a better place with a daytime curfew! Once the daytime curfew is in place, we will be able to keep them in their schools, which are locked up and surrounded by guards preventing anyone entering or leaving. Kinda sounds like a prison to me (hmmm...that gives me a better idea what to do with teenagers)
  • Now THERE's a valid idea!
  • Seems unlikely. Geeks are smarter than jocks. If anybody can figure out how to abuse the system for their own enjoyment, it will be those geeks, making anonymous tips about jocks doing drugs, and teachers who believe in this shit being pedophiles.
  • WAVE Promise as seen on [] They need to change the background picture, "HAIL HITLER!"
  • What good is this Hellmouth series on Slashdot doing anyway? This would have a far better impact if it was actually published (yes, I know, some people raised a stink about their comments being used), but this is just standard preaching to the choir.

    You've had your fifteen minues of fame Jon. I don't doubt that your initial work regarding this subject was good, but now it's getting old. Your constant rants on "Geek Profiling" (TM) are making you just as bad as the school officials and other such people you write about. Not all geeks (I prefer the term "nerd" myself :)) are depressed, trenchcoat wearing misanthropes. Quit trying to assume that they are, because you'll end up doing more bad than good ("Hey, Jon Katz says Billy is a depressed geek! Let's put him away!").

    Just drop it and find some new cause to trumpet, mmmkay?

  • Readers should be able to moderate whole stories... that way the slash team could know what we do and don't want to see more of....

    in fact, a story modding system could be used to *post* stories, thereby removing any central control of slashdot, and getting it closer to its "open" ideal.
  • by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <> on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:56PM (#486138) Homepage Journal
    • Principal: Hello Neil. The reason I've called you into my office is that it's come to my attention that some of the alpha-males in the schools have been beating and harassing you for the last two years. I understand that it's gotten so bad that you've become depressed and suicidal.
    • Neil: I didn't think it was that obvious, sir.
    • Principal: Well, it's not that obvious, but you've definitely been showing some of the signs. In any case a couple of the school alpha-males reported it because they're concerned.
    • Neil: Concerned about me?
    • Principal: Oh no. Of course not. They're concerned that you might get desperate and do something nasty to them. To allay their fears, I've decided to suspend you for two weeks and publicly berate you.
      Guido the security guard will escort you to clear out your locker. For security reasons, I can't let you leave anything in the locker.
      Do you have anything to say?
    • Neil: This is a bit of a surprise sir, and the timing is really bad. My science fair project is due in a week.
    • Principal: One other thing Neil.
    • Neil: Yes sir?
    • Get some professional help. I'll see you in two weeks.

  • Quake III is 100% more morally desensitizing than Doom is!!!! :)
  • I just wonder, are they really expecting that they won't be flooded with "tips" like: "Johnny is a fag. He said he was going to kill a bunch of people. Limp Bizkit rox!"

    Really, think back to high school: wouldn't the funniest way to spend a boring computer lab session be to "report" all your buddies? Ok, the funniest way would be tricking an unsuspecting victim to look at the receiver, but once everyone's had a good vomit over that, you've got to find something a bit more time consuming. Telling W.A.V.E that your best friend likes to sniff dog turds and dirty sweat socks would provide at least 15 minutes of hilarity (or even a bit of a fight, which always breaks up monotony).

    (disclaimer: it's not my fault if you didn't have any friends to abuse in high school)

    (preach: stereotyping by either side doesn't help)

    (phrase of the day: fart paste).
  • by Thalia ( 42305 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @03:59PM (#486141)
    Is it just me, or does this remind everyone of the tactics used by the Nazis? I know it's popular to say Nazi-something for anything that you dislike (those feminazis, and nazi-music-recording companies and so on.) But this actually does quite closely echo the actions of the Third Reich.

    Specifically, the Hitlerei's policy was to train children in school to turn in their classmates, their parents, and anyone else who they believed was "subversive." It was part of the daily "civics" class. This actually worked very well for them, and was in turn adopted by the Communists in Eastern Europe. Lest you Americans feel too smug, the McCarthy-ites did this as well, using the Alert Society.

    If we train kids in school now, to turn in their classmates, how long until we ask them to rat on their parents, for anti-social behavior, the use of drugs, etc.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  • by EnderWiggnz ( 39214 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @04:02PM (#486142)
    No, no... the real question here is "what would Bryan Boytano do?"



  • by Anonymous Coward
    it's due to people on slashdot linking the description "" with the site Because of the way google works since so many sites link to slashdot, and lots of sites link to various osdn sites which all link to slashdot slashdot is considered authoritative, therefore if you post stuff like that a lot then it will be linked in google.
  • . . .That what Brian Boitano'd do. . .

    As opposed to Katz, who continually drones the same note, over and over. . .

  • Thank you, Jon Katz.

    It is hard to be a reporter, to take a very complicated bunch of information and process it into something that carries some sort of meaning. It's even harder when your story is really thousands of stories, and thousands of people can, in turn, reply to those stories and to your analysis and presentation of them.

    You have done a good job putting the voices forward, and the response has been mixed. I think that's fine, controversy is a good thing.

  • there was a study done by a highschool teacher (and a movie made out of it im pretty sure... memory is hazy due to this being told in social class during discussion of nazi germany) who basically started a cult to teach the kids just how easy a leader can create followers. called it the wave. is it just me, or is this too much of an amazing coincidence to be real?
  • That sounds a little far-fetched. I doubt they have human-beings evaluating each of the folders they have and jotting down comments.
  • There is a Site [] Trying to stop it apparently.... They've got my vote!
  • Consider the amount of crap that can be found for the last couple of years on slashdot (I've read it long even before I knew how to run LILO),
    I'd suggest to ban AC's and oblidge everbody to first to show their W.A.V.E. record, pass an IQ test, an medical test and show an attest of sanity.
    To show of their haxors skills as well, they need to infiltrate into the national security agency and dig up their profile.
    After all of this has been approved, they're certified of obtaining a ./ username & to post replies on Jon Katz articles...

    (If you think this is serious, then you're a fraud, your sanity attest if a fake, isn't?)
  • Actually if each installment counts as 15 minutes of fame he's got two and a half hours of fame out of it, and counting...

    It's a pity there isn't someone more persuasive doing this for a publication more mainstream than /....

  • Not only do that, but make up names as well, flood the entire system with so much useless and incorrect information that it can't work anymore. Get friends together and send in conflicting information. e.g. at 12:20 the high schools all star quarter back was seen in town lighting a fire in an abandoned house, at school beating up freshmen students in the toilets and in the principles office destroying files. All at 12:20. Also mention that he was wearing a QIII t-shirt just to really scare the people on the other end of the phone.
    If enough people do this then the database would be so full of conflicting information that it won't be useable. And also imagine the reactions of parents who find out that their kids are being investigated incase they are mass killers waiting to happen when they don't even own a computer.
    Minds are like Parachutes,
  • by scrytch ( 9198 ) <> on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @04:25PM (#486152)
    I still can't get over how absolutely negative you all are over every single Katz article

    Voices from the Hellmouth Revisited: Part Ten

    There's your first clue.
  • Hey, all you people who don't seem to appreciate this critique of post-columbine mass histeria can go suck an egg! Clearly you weren't victims of this state condoned harrassment based soley on your non-conformist thought, so you have no idea what it's like. I totally applaud Jon Katz and what he is doing and I encourage him to keep it up.

    I for one was a victim of this witch-hunt and I know a couple others who it happened to also. These though-police fuckers shut-down my website, threatened me with arrest, expulsion, and called me a cyber-terrorist. All for something I didn't even do!

    Just because some asshole decided to post a threat against my school on my website, I got in trouble. Of course my schoool authorities/assholes never doubted for one second that it was me who did it, never mind the fact that my site got 300 hits a day. My non-conformist style of dress and shabby hair PROVED me to be a murderous phsychopath. Never mind the fact that I am a devout pacifist and vegan and that is one of the central themes of my fucking site!

    This happened over a year ago and I am still pissed off about it. What they did was fucking wrong, and if you and I don't stand up to it it's only going to get worse. So you fucking go, Jn Katz, and fuck all the naysayers!
  • Yay. Hey Katz, this atricle blew.
  • Sorry if this is old hat, but I just heard about ANI for the first time not so long ago.

    In cases like this, or toll-free crisis/abuse call centers that profess to be anonymous, is ANI disabled?

    For instance, some posters were suggesting that students use the hotline to report all students, or non-geeks/jocks, for instance--a suggestion which would then want the stipulation that such calls be placed from a pay phone or something.

    err, for those who don't know what ANI is:

    ANI stands for Automatic Number Identification. It is a service feature in which the directory or equipment number of a calling station (read as ?telephone?) is automatically obtained. Enhanced 911 systems, 800/888 numbers and big companies make the most use out of this feature

    AFAIK, you can't "caller-id block" ANI.

  • Dear W.A.V.E.:

    I would like to turn in the fellow who shares a locker with me. His name is Winston, and he hogs the locker space we share and I have no room to store my GameBoy in it. Recently, I caught him dozing off in class, and in his sleep, I heard him mumble, "Down with Big Brother! Down with Big Brother!". No doubt, this makes his loyalties to our HS highly questionable.

    Thank you for your help in removing this troubled classmate from my school.

  • Offtopic? Come on, moderators, grow a sense of humour. And this is perfectly on-topic, too.
  • Simply call the # and report every student in all of your classrooms. Convince a few friends to do the same, and eventually, every student will be on the roster for investigation.

    Now this is interesting....imagine for a second that you and your pals report certain persons...the captain of the football team or cheerleading squad...the homecoming queen...eventually the whole school comes crashing down in one massive dystopia...everyone is being investigated, lawsuits everywhere...

    ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • Thats the problem, there is no one group that will turn out to be killers or wife beaters. Violent tendencies cannot be easily traced to people exhibiting certain personality traits. Sure every once in a while a nation with millions of youths five or ten with violent tendencies will band together and cause a terrible tragedy. However, there are other factors leading to this, such as mob mentality. Most geeks don't kill their classmates. Most jocks don't grow up and beat their wives. However some geeks beat their wives, and in a society where jocks are treated like geeks the possibility of the football team at Columbine being the ones that killed their classmates exists. You can't group people.
  • to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates whom they consider depressed, dangerous or potentially violent, this horrifically stupid Geek Profiling would be blatantly unconstitutional...

    They aren't being asked to turn in geeks, with the point being that geeks have a high(er) tendancy towards these things. They are being asked to turn in people who _are_ depressed, dangerous, or potentially violent.

    If loving taffy was a crime, and It was shown that blacks love taffy at a statistically higher level than non-blakcs, reporting suspected blacks for investigation would be 'profiling'.
    Then again, if it isn't sensational it probably can't stretch out for 10 installments.
  • Your sig is also remarkably on-topic for this story.
  • Very interesting... The original poster never said "jocks". The original poster said "abusive bullies". Yet you jumped to "jocks".

    Yes, you're right. You can't group people.

    I would say that 90% of high school students are abusive bullies, or aid and abet abusive bullying. There is nothing surprising in this. It's just Sturgeon's Law applied to people.


  • The first couple of Hellmouth articles had a powerful effect, not only by providing an outlet for the ranks of schoolkids (and former schoolkids) outside of the dominant clique, but by sensitizing some of the more thoughtful teachers and counselors to their issues. The articles actually circulated among some of the professionals dealing with Columbine, something that no doubt helped sensitize them to the ways that reactions to Columbine would (and did) come down on innocent groups. I suspect that Katz was greatly surprised at the power and scope of the emotions and experiences that the articles tapped -- and the amount of attention they received. He's still riding the wave of outpourings from that series.

    He should stop. There is a point where self-expression becomes self-obsession. There is a point where opening old wounds becomes injurious, not cathartic. And there is a point where he becomes just another zealot milking Columbine to his own ends (even though I might support those ends), and to rapidly shrinking effect.

    I generally support Katz (which I'm sure many here feel puts me in a small minority). Yes, his pieces are sometimes fluffy and he often forgets to dot his intellectual I's and cross his factual T's. But he generally creates a good springboard for discussion (if you can ignore the knee-jerk Katz-haters that love to flock to his articles). And discussion (not "news") is what Slashdot is about, isn't it?

    But it is far past time to stop dragging out "Hellmouth" and start developing some fresh perspectives and constructive ideas on this subject, or drop it altogether. He should have stopped the series some time ago.

  • I'd like to say that no matter how much I tend to dislike Katz's writing style, that I refuse to bash it. He has plenty to say and some of the time it is even logical.

    That out of the way, I would like to say that I dislike the blatant direction that Katz steers the usage of the W.A.V.E. program. I am not saying that it is a good program, far from it, but I tire of the "pandering to the geek" mentality.

    This program, if it goes into effect and is not monitored somehow, will be abused by anyone that can. Just imagine a high school full of students that get into petty fights everyday. Go ahead, I don't think that is hard to imagine. Now give those students an anonymous outlet to attack the person who they fought with. I don't care who the people are, it wouldn't necessarily be the outcast picked on. This has the possibility to be abused by anyone, against anyone. The head cheerleader has a bone to pick with some freshman girl, so she turns her in, and so the story goes.

    These scenarios and many more are just over the horizon when identifying troubled people is left in the hands of their peers, especially at the ages (lifespan and maturity) that most students in school are at.

    So, this program stinks, but let's not pandering to the outcasts. It stinks because it adds a level of tattle-tale to it. A sort of snitch mentality where you have to fear who is gonna turn you in.


  • WAVE is administered by Pinkerton's, Inc. [], which is a rather nasty business intelligence firm that morphed into its spy-happy self from its previous incarnation as a union-busting, railroad-protecting gang of thugs. Katz has previously noted [] this connection.
  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @05:12PM (#486178) Homepage Journal
    Was listening to NPR (or maybe PRI) on the way home, and caught a snippet wherein the Prez claimed that he would, as part of his educational initiatives, try to do something about all of the students who are in fear of going to school.

    Thank god, I thought. Finally, someone is going to do something about those asinine jocks and their cohort.

    Then I remembered: He meant he would be doing something about the people who get picked on and then retaliate with semi-automatic weapons.

    Fuck. Same shit, different elected official.

  • :::laughing hysterically:::...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...oh. Excuse me, sorry, for all that laughter. I remember my skewl had a "homework hotline" one time...well turns out we "hacked" how funny was that.[begin recording]"this is mr.teacher, for class today we will be having all the girls meet with me in the closet for a SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT." "a bunch more degrading shit".

    Anyway my point is...your targeting the geek culture here right...they're going to fuck this thing up...I swear! I would if I was still in skewl. And how are they going to ween out the false accusations?

    This system is one giant joke, and a bad one at that. Not only will it prove impotent in fighting skewl violence, it will also destroy the lifes of certain individuals. And if a kid...a fucking kid! can see depression in a classmate before a teacher does...well then, something is terribly wrong. Actually wait about the fucking parents dealing with these situations...theres a fucking clue! Note to parents....TALK TO YOUR KIDS, you'll find this will defuse many problems.

    Depression is a serious problem, please don't fight it with neo bullshit problem solving (tattle-taling). A depressed person is volatile, not stable, and susceptable to critical comments and constant negative attention. I think some people deserve a bullet in the head for fucking with depressed people...hey they'll never do it again right? Plus how is someone outside the depressed person's life, like a pig, going to help? This system put forth is an antagonist on the back of depression. This system will do more damage than help. This system is just plain retarded, a "corporate check point". Fuck normal thoughts, fuck being a bitch for the skewl system, if you like something different...your not crazy...your not going to kill just like different shit than the mass morons in the world. This is a system to stifle creative thinkers, artist, and overall open minded people who can see past trivial social nonsense.

    "Take magical mushrooms and squeegy your third eye." - Bill Hicks

  • Speaking as a lit geek, the whole piece is poorly written. The first stanza rhyme scheme is AABB, the second stanza CCDEC and the final stanza CFG. There is no structure within the stanzas and no internal rhyme or use of alliteration. The piece peters out into mediocrity. The initial AABB CC rhyme scheme is now considered amateurish (similar to using GOTO). Perhaps it's highschool audience justifies this structure. One must then ask why was it not continued through to the end? Perhaps the sign of a disturbed, unorganized mind.

    Having heard Hitler speak in various newsreels, any comparison of this piece to his speeches is an insult. At least as far as you can insult the facist bastard. ;)

  • I'd buy it too.

    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • jbrians comments:

    That sounds a little far-fetched. I doubt they have human-beings evaluating each of the folders they have and jotting down comments.

    True, but I can easily imagine that they have human beings evaluating each of the folders they sell, at the time of sale and jotting down comments.

  • Hmm. Well I don't know if you could argue that most of what is posted on Slashdot is "content". I try to incite conversation... and arguments. I like the verbal play, and it leads to interesting thoughts. But is that "content"?

    I think Katz is a very eloquent speaker, and I enjoy reading his stuff. Plus, for someone relatively new to Slashdot (only about a year), reading Katz stuff is kind of interesting.

    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • And if there's any group who can understand the benefits from a stimulating peer-group, it's the /. crowd.

    Darn right. Sure, I used Linux before I got my login here, but I installed it completely unaware of how l33t I was becoming. Why, until I started reading Slashdot, I had no idea how close the affiliation between Microsoft and Satan really was! And while I'm sure many of us had pictured Natalie Portman naked before, it took true insight to consider the implications of adding petrification to the scenario.
  • I'm sorry, but the end of the Hellmouth series here on Slashdot is only the beginning of something larger. I agree that 'Hellmouth' itself is a well-beaten dead horse, but it has sparked discussions that are not directly related, and quite useful.

    Looking back over the series of 10 articles, there have been testimony from many, almost all _not_ from Columbine. Each piece of testimony is a different perspective, and some offer ideas for dealing with the problem.

    As long as the civil rights of minors continue to be violated, and as long as school administrators either turn a blind eye, or secretly help the agressors, the problems must be shown.

    You don't hear about genocide victims telling others to lay off discussing how evil their murderers are -- why should we? Especially when the abuses are still continuing?

    Pouring salt on old wounds only applies if those wounds have started to heal. Unfortunately, we're not the ones pouring salt by discussing on a weblog, the public school system is pouring, and quite a bit of it.

    In the end, it's time to take a stance, and actually go out and do something. Helping to subvert W.A.V.E. will certainly be a good statement to make, but we now need to discuss solutions to these problems.

    Legislation, perhaps, to increase minor rights? The increased privatization of the educational system? More Rent-a-cops? I don't know! But we need to discuss, and find solutions.

    To do the 'awww-so-sad-look-at-those-starving-Ethiopians-now -change-the-channel-XFiles-is-on' thing is not acceptable here.
  • By reporting continuing developments, Katz is keeping this important issue alive. If instead of following up, he did what the rest of the media does-- drop day-old news like a dead rodent-- those of us who aren't in highschool would not realize what is going on.

    It's a little annoying to hear the same stuff over and over again. But the kind of social problems that get solved are the ones where someone crusades to keep them visible. Squeaky wheel gets the grease kind of thing...


  • The Wave [] was the result of an experiment in Personality Cult worship in PaloAlto Cali. in the 60's. It is VERY funny that the monkeys who are developing this 'squeel' system have never heard about it.

    The book based on this event was required reading in my HighSchool - very interesting read.

    Maybe the people devloping the "W.A.V.E." program should read a book... it is uncanny that this experiment (in 60's California) detailed in this book is exactly what this "W.A.V.E." program will lead too - that the book actually warned against this.

    This is very weird.

  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Tuesday January 23, 2001 @06:04PM (#486202)
    Just an aside: anyone still in high school, NEVER leave anything personal in your locker. I ran away once and they raided the thing for clues. They even dug up some personal poetry in my notebooks there.

    Keep stuff like that under lock and key. In your room, and hidden.

    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • More of a mass media thing.

    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • What would it take to write a simple script that would constantly call W.A.V.E., overrunning the thing with fake messages, so people wouldn't have to.

    Even using something like Yahoo Messenger and having it constantly dial in with silence or a recorded audio file.

    -Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

  • oh for christ's sake. that's the battle cry of every loser i have ever met.

    "my parents beat me!"

    "My dad never loved me!"

    "I got beat up at school all the time!"

    "I never had any friends!"

    Guess what. I haven't met a single person yet who thought high-school was the best time of their lives. NO ONE LIKED HIGH-SCHOOL! Some people like to blither on mindlessly about how they had no clique in high-school. They had no friends, and were constantly being picked on by their peers and their teachers.

    When are assinine fools like Jon Kats (and yourself) going to realize that high school sucked for just about everybody. None of us had that many friends, and most of them talked shit about us behind our backs....just like we did to them. And most of us thought of ourselves as go-betweens. Never had a clique? No one did. My highschool was a group of 2500 loners who were just too stupid to realize it. Why? Because that's what groing up is all about. Alienation!

    You're supposed to feel like shit in high-school. You're a fuckin' teenager. I remember something about a transition from childhood to adulthood, or something?!?!?! somewhere?!?!? Growing up is a pain in the ass. you learn %90 of your life lessons between the age of 13-21. Guess's going to hurt. Remember how you found you were supposed to be extremely careful with a knife? you cut yourself on it! Now take 100,000 more lessons like that and cram them into a span of 6 or 7 years...and poof. you're a teenager.

    Teenagers have been experiencing heartbrake and pain, and alienation, and physical "abuse" since before recorded history. The only difference between todays kids, and the kids of 30 years ago is that, today, our teens are told they are not responsible for feeling like outsiders. Today, it is not their fault that life sucks. 30 years ago, you shut up and dealt with it.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • Agreed, Katz has surfaced a lot of issues, many of them quite worthy of attention and frightening in their implications. This particular article focuses mainly on two of them: profiling and anonymous informant programs. Neither of these originated with Columbine, although people promoting them are quite willing to exploit Columbine to their ends. And Katz, by raising the "Hellmouth" banner, is doing the same.

    I don't think Katz helps his cause by conjuring the ghosts of Columbine. He sure as hell isn't helping those folks who are still dealing with its aftermath. Every year there are more breakdowns, more suicides, of people who lost family or friends or who witnessed the massacre or who have been laboring long hours to help put those shattered lives back together.

    The issues Katz raises are potent enough on their own, and there are ready examples with far more power at his fingertips, should he spend just a little time researching. Look at East Germany or the USSR, where informants and profiling were taken to their evil extremes. Leave Columbine alone.

  • >The brain drain is the inevitable result of such a fascist system, and is instrumental in bringing about its eventual downfall. Causing the exodus of your best and brightest has its costs, and such a system pays for its stupidity.

    Amen, brother.

    Hitler is burning in hell right now.

    He could have lived to a ripe old age - and acquired the title of Global Emperor by means of owning the first operational nuclear weapon - had he spent a little more time paying attention to "Jew science".

    Somewhere in heaven, Albert Einstein, "Jew scientist" is playing dice with God - but I think he's OK with the way things turned out - even if God had to show him a thing or two about dice.

    Rule #1 for all wannabe-evil-emperors: NEVER piss off your geniuses. They're either your weapons enginners or your enemy's. Your choice.

  • > NEVER leave anything personal in your locker. I ran away once and they raided the thing for clues.

    Nice thing about people like that is... it doesn't matter how many clues are in your locker. They couldn't get a clue if it was clue mating season and they were in a field of clues covered in clue pheromone.

    >Keep stuff like that under lock and key. In your room, and hidden.

    Keep the happy poetry, the stuff you copied out of birthday cards, in your locker. Keep more of the same hidden in your room under lock and key.

    Keep your poetry on multiple redundant floppies or in emails "in your inbox" on a Hotmail account, encrypted with PGP.

  • Publish the book Mr. Katz and you will be sued.
    By who, the anonymous posters? How are they gonna prove it's their work?

    Besides it isn't illegal to publish this stuff at all. If you write a letter to a newspaper they can publish it. In it's entirity. Without a name, if they want (they don't because then they become the defendant in any ensuing slader/libel cases).

  • Not as fictional as it seems.

    Minus the W.A.V.E thing, and the fact it happened in the UK not US, this is almost exactly what happened to me at school. Did the jocks doing the bullying receive any punishment? Hell no! Fortunately, the doctor I ended up seeing told my parents, "He's a perfectly normal geek. I don't see any reason for treatment." Fortunately, my father also has backbone and reamed out the headmaster (principal in American).

    It still annoys me thinking about it now, and I'd have some polite, but choice words - and some difficult questions to ask of the headmaster in question.

  • I can easily imagine that they have human beings evaluating each of the folders they sell, at the time of sale and jotting down comments.

    The basic reports provide only a summary of an individual's life, enough to verify most of their declared history on a resume or CV. There is a simple cover page created from a form and probably checked over by a human, but the total time to create a background check doesn't run more than about 10 minutes of human time. At $40 to $60 a pop, you can't allow more than about 10 minutes and still make a profit, this is a production line operation.

    The complete reports pull up and print out many pages, and it is obvious a human spends some time looking it over for mistakes and providing a computer assisted summary. Normally these are provided as part of an investigation into potential new Chief Officers or other people who will handle large budgets or possibly drive the company. You'd be surprised, or maybe not, by the number of people who decide to try and fake it and go for the big money and bonuses as a CxO. VC firms use these reports as the starting point for a thorough background investigation before allowing an unknown to take control of their money. In the last dotcom frenzy, a number of VC firms skipped the background check and got burned by conmen who would have been revealed by a standard check. Casinos, banks, and anyone else handling large sums of money typically spend thousands of dollars investigating senior personnel before allowing them to touch money.

    I'm not sure I made it clear in my original post, but Pinkertons is the company offering WAVE, it's not an idea by the state of NC. WAVE is being touted by NC as their own creation to prove to worried parents they are tackling crime in schools. WAVE is a program being marketed by Pinkertons to any state stupid enough to turn over private student records to a large corporation and hope they don't abuse the data.

    the AC
  • Only government run databases have to be purged when you pass from juvenile to adult status. But private corporations in the US are allowed to copy your juvenile record data, and that copy no longer comes under the protection of the law.

    Expect that when you start applying for serious jobs in about 10 years that you will find this data coming back to haunt you. I hope you choose a path through life so that greedy corporate interests don't affect you much. Look towards becoming an artist, a freelance photographer, a coder, or anything else where you are free to pick and choose your income. Depression and Corporate Drone don't mix very well, trust me.

    the AC
  • ....was evidently depressed. He said, "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?" What more proof do they need? They should have taken that peace-geek right out and nailed him to a friggen cross. I haven't been keeping up with the news lately. Whatever happened to him anyway? Did he go Open Source?
  • You're supposed to feel like shit in high-school.

    No. You're supposed to feel like shit in prison.
  • Seriously, if you are being harrassed by someone who is a <insert your favorite stereotypical popular type here>, I'd say that qualifies as anti-social and possibly dangerous behavior. Use the hotline. Give details as to how that person has been anti-social and/or dangerous. Examples: physical abuse, public humiliation, slander, anything they'd be arrested for if they were an adult.

    Be sure that you think about what you are going to say and how you phrase it. You wouldn't want to come off sounding like sour grapes instead of a genuine report of abuse.


  • Fifteen years ago a college roommate described "The Wave" incident to me, and I've been curious to read about it ever since. I'm grateful to you for posting this link, and I hope everyone will take the time to look through it.I'm planning to buy the book and, when my son's old enough, get him to read it so he'll understand certain things he needs to know.
  • No, it's not just you, and you go on to answer your own question in detail. As John le Carre said through one of his characters, "If I had to choose between betraying my friend and betraying my country, I should hope I would have the guts to betray my country."
  • "You shut up and dealt with it" isn't a viable adaptive behavior to this, or very many (if any) issues.

    Agreed. And maybe that's the idea - schools are, maybe intentionally, desensitizing kids to the idea that they should attempt to change what's wrong with the world. We see it here, all the people saying "but school is SUPPOSED to suck" - so it's obvious that it's working. Result, if allowed to continue: generations of kids who shrug off almost anything that bugs them and say "well, fuck it, can't change City Hall..."
  • They'll probably expand it: "and get EXTRA reward money if you turn in atheists, homosexuals, and liberals!"
  • Sounds frighteningly familiar. We had a retarded principal who, I guess, believed the first kid who walked through his door. So one of the major troublemakers at school picked a fight with me on lunch hour, I lost as usual, and they bring us down to the office. And for whatever reason we ended up seeing the principal instead of the vice principal (who was only slightly less dumb) - and the kid who started the fight got to tell his story first.

    When I got in there, the principal - who knew nothing about me but could probably have pulled my file to see what kind of kid I was - was warning me that if I didn't change my ways, I'd spend my life in and out of jail.

    Total number of minutes I've spent in jail in the twelve years since: 0. I'm afraid I can't speak for the other kid.
  • and yet another friend got tackled to the ground by campus security for looking like he was "on-drugs".

    I'd be fucked at that school. I look like I'm on drugs most of the time. Especially if i haven't slept well (dark bags under my eyes), my allergies are acting up (red bloodshot eyes, runny red nose), or have gone too long without food and my blood sugar level has crashed (incoherent, occasionally tripping over stuff). Then they'd look at my art [] (shameless plug) and realize I MUST be on drugs.

    But I'll bet that school turns a blind eye to teachers who come in smelling like Budweiser.
  • They aren't being asked to turn in geeks, with the point being that geeks have a high(er) tendancy towards these things. They are being asked to turn in people who _are_ depressed, dangerous, or potentially violent.

    And they're supposed to identify these traits how?

    Sure, let's let high school kids and untrained adults "diagnose" people as dangerous. What do you suppose they'll do? Answer: probably pick out anyone who looks or acts "weird".
  • easy! Simply call in the football team. Every time they practice. Every time they get out of classes early. Every time there is a pep rally. Simply call up the toll-free number. Say that there are people in your school who are obsessed with violence. Say there is a club meeting quietly during school hours, where everyone involved slips out of class, and they meet to plot how to hurt other students. Vaguely reference the Pep rally.. in that it is an involuntary gathering where you are forced to cheer the vulgar and violent actions of a few in your school who "dont really fit in".

    Flood them with enough calls like this, it will die. And dont think for a moment a school is going to put up with *anything* that threatens their pretty little sports programs.. the band has to pay for their uniforms and instruments, but I dont see the football players buying the new stadiums.

    This is simple folks.. use their own system against them.

    Want to stop violence in school? Stop teachign the biggest, dumbest idiots *IN* the school that might makes right, and that crushing those who oppose them on the scrimmage field is a suitable application of power, and is okay!

  • It'll work against the white trash bullies, but there's this whole overclass of "approved" bullies. Jocks, for instance. And they'll get away with it, every time. When accused, they'll deny it, and the administration will believe them, then there'll be a big school assembly where they talk about how the system's being abused to settle jealousy-based vendettas, and the geeks in the back row will get careful looks from the podium that the rest of the student body can't help but pick up on, and the socially undesirable one will know he can't win, that the system isn't there for him, that it's all a lie and he'd better by-god get with the program, and the asshole that got away with the first punch will know he can get away with it next time, and the punch will get thrown twice as hard next time, and the next report will get ignored because if the first one was a sham the second one obviously is twice the sham, and the victim will get reported as a danger to himself, for failing to cowtow to the almighty sanctioned bully, and for walking around with a bruised cheek he refuses to explain, because there's no point in trying to explain, because the bully's in a protected class.

    There is a double standard, and that standard is set by the social worthiness victim. Compare the prison terms of blacks convicted of murdering whites, to the terms of whites convicted of murdering blacks. Anybody who's ostracized is up against similar odds.

    It won't work. It just won't work.


  • Hey,

    Simply call the # and report every student in all of your classrooms.

    Why stop at the students? You could phone in about the teachers too:

    "This guy at my school... John Maplebury... I think he might be mentally unstable or something. He's always wearing a long black gown and talking about punishing people."

    Put in a couple of those about different teachers every week, and watch the fun...


    ...another comment from Michael Tandy.

  • Of course he brought up Columbine. It's like anti-crypto arguments, where terrorism is produced as a "reason." As long as the sort of profiling that victimized your son is justified as "preventing Columbines" rather than "promulgating repression," it will continue to happen. Thus one of my points is that Katz is playing their game by bringing up Columbine. It's become a trigger word for those who would turn schools into lockups (and there is big money in this sort of fear-mongering both in terms of security personnel and hardware and a multitude of "training courses" for everyone from school superintendents on down).

    All of this I'm sure you already know. My hat's off to you for standing up for your son and for what you feel is right, and for speaking up here. I've not the slightest issue with you; my objection is to people who exploit Columbine to push various repressive programs. Not only do they harm a community which is still reeling years after the tragic event, but they injure their own communities by their fear-mongering and child-hating ideas. Why this may be so (aside from the aforementioned profit motive) could fill a book, so I'll stop now.


A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle